Congress: No ‘Pawar’ in Radia talk

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The Congress on Thursday opted to steer clear of the issue of the controversial corporate lobbyist, Ms Niira Radia, reportedly linking the NCP chief, Mr Sharad Pawar, to the 2G scam-tainted DB Realty firm, noting the Union minister had himself given an “elaborate” clarification.

Mr Pawar, while trashing the reported allegations, said: “This is absolutely a lie and foolish statement. Her claim is absolutely irresponsible and a total lie, and one should not give too much importance to her statement.”

When asked to comment on the latest revelations on Mr Pawar, the AICC spokesperson, Mr Manish Tewari, said: “Since the person concerned has given an elaborate reaction on the matter, it would not be proper for anyone to say anything... It is not necessary to say anything."

The Maharashtra leader added: “I have no financial interest in this company... DB Realty... and that telecom company... I have no relations at all. I have no financial, not one naya paisa interest in that company.”

Mr Pawar said he knew Mr K.M. Goenka, father of DB Realty owner, Mr Vinod Goenka, for the last 35 years and he had set up a milk processing unit in Baramati around 20 years back. “We, all farmers, are helping him in getting good quality milk. We have a relationship. There are no two opinions about that, but we have no involvement or association with the telecom company,” he insisted.

Pointing out that Ms Radia had herself stated she had no proof to back the charge, Mr Pawar said he had no talk with the corporate lobbyist or anyone else on the grant of licence for spectrum use.
“I am looking after agriculture of the country, not telecom,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP said if Mr Pawar’s name had cropped up in the case, the authorities should verify the claim by Ms Radia and seek clarifications from the minister if it felt the need to do so.

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